Like content, content types can also go stale – or at least become less tasty to consume.
Now that you’ve weathered 2021, it’s time to look into 2022 with fresh eyes. These eight formats can help attract and engage your audience members who prefer visuals over text-dominated content.
A guestographic is a guest infographic. It features both images and text and is published on or linked to from different websites. Guestographics are often created in collaboration with other brands for a specific purpose.
It can be their content and your design or your content and their design. This example published by Venngage includes its infographic design with Mention-provided data on sentiment on social media:
It is an effective way to build brand (or content) awareness and establish stable connections. For the publishing site, it also can produce quality backlinks to help its SEO strategy.
You can also use the guestographic concept by publishing an infographic on your site and creating guest content that includes a link to it for another site.
Among the available tools to create a unique guestographic design is VistaCreate, with over 30 customizable templates from Crello.
You may have guessed from the name that instructographics is a long-forgotten child of infographics. They are becoming a popular way to explain complex data in an easy-to-digest format.
Instructographics tell people how to do something. For example, here is how the instructographic on how to turn plain white cups into funny mustache cups:
Instructographics work well for step-by-step instructions or other how-to guides but are only limited by your creativity. The best thing about them is the higher potential for sharing the content.
Academy Award-winning director Martin Scorsese once said, “Storyboards are not the only means of communication for what I imagine, but they are the point where I begin.” Today, a storyboard can be the content product, not just a tool used in production.
Storyboards are a visual sequence of useful information such as text, images, design, and illustrations. It allows the viewer to visualize the whole story frame by frame.
Creating a storyboard is a good way to organize any type of information that needs a systematic approach, such as this example for ideas that bring storyboard success:
A storyboard could be used to tell a standalone story or to complement a text-based version.
4. Carousel posts
Carousel posts on social media are becoming a more attractive content type for marketers. On Instagram, they earn higher average engagement rates (1.92%) than single photos (1.74%) and videos (1.45%). Creators who used all 10 carousel slides available experienced average engagement rates as high as 2%.
Popular on Instagram and LinkedIn, this content format also is available on Facebook. Here are some how-to specifics:
- LinkedIn: Create carousel images in a PDF format and upload the file to the platform.
- Instagram: Choose and upload different images and/or videos. Make sure to upload them in the right order. To increase engagement, tell people to “swipe left” on carousels with messages.
- Facebook: Carousels (or slide shows) are available on your page’s cover image or as an individual post. Click on the photo/video option and upload your images or video in sequential order.
5. Whiteboard videos
Artists, graphic designers, or people good with a marker draw on a whiteboard to successfully explain a point, process, or product in a visually attractive way. As they create, the video camera is tracking their every move.
Some companies use this type of content for corporate video training because they can have a stronger impact than reading a handbook or watching someone read from a script. But you don’t have to limit it to training videos. Whiteboard content can work for almost anything that can be illustrated. Most importantly, they create a curiosity factor as viewers wait to see how the rest of the story comes together (even when they already know the story.)
You don’t need to have special skills to create whiteboard videos, just a little bit of practice, some imagination, and inspiration to explore the topic well. A lot of great tools, such as VideoScribe and Mango Animate, can help you create this kind of video content.
6. Screencast videos
Using your computer screen and microphone, you can show and narrate the content. Screencasts work well to show how to do something or solve a problem step by step. Screencasts also can save time by answering the most important questions asked over and over.
You can create video lessons, tutorials, training videos, and recorded presentations using this content format. Screencasts can add a personal touch in ways that other methods can’t. Viewers get to hear your voice and see you convey the story.
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7. AR-powered storytelling
To avoid boring your audience, you need to give them a reason to yearn for or engage with your content. Augmented-reality experiences can immerse them into the story, offer gameplay, or provide an additional narrative.
Social media networks are good resources to access this AR technology. This AR Snapchat experience from Taco Bell lets audiences use a filter to turn their faces into a giant taco shell. It resulted in more than 224 million views.
— Alex Stern (@alexnstern) May 5, 2016
8. Ephemeral posts
Ephemeral content, also known as time-restricted content, is a great way to help your brand stay fresh for your target audience. The visual content’s short life span (up to 24 hours) taps into your followers’ FOMO (fear of missing out) on something interesting.
Instagram and Facebook Stories are the most popular example because they disappear a day after they’re posted. This style of content is especially useful for taking followers behind the scenes, reading the room, seeing what people are talking about, etc. In this example, you can see Stories that share events:
Given the crowded content marketplace, it makes sense to refresh your perspective and consider new content types. You can more closely match what content formats your audience prefers to consume today or what content types will surprise and delight them. But to make successful choices, you must go old school and base them on your audience, your goals, and your brand identity.
All tools mentioned in this post are identified by the author. If you have a tool to share, please add in the comments.
Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute